At Seahawks Stadium
Kickoff: Today, 1:15 p.m.
TV: Channel 13. Radio: KIRO (710 AM).
The line: Seahawks by 7.
Seahawks: The Seahawks went to New Jersey and were blown out by the New York Jets 37-14 last Sunday. The Seahawks failed to clinch a playoff spot, even though the five teams they needed to lose over the weekend did so.
New York dominated in time of possession (35:26 to 24:34) and total yardage, 482 to 275, which was the most the Seahawks have allowed all season. Curtis Martin ran for 134 yards and scored twice, and Santana Moss caught two touchdown passes from QB Chad Pennington, who was 18 for 24 for 253 yards and a shiny 148.1 rating.
Jerry Rice made a one-handed grab for a touchdown in the first quarter, giving the Seahawks a 7-3 lead. But that evaporated on the next Jets possession. The Seahawks trailed 24-14 after Matt Hasselbeck’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Jerramy Stevens with three seconds left in the first half, but the Jets, who had shut out six previous opponents in the second half, did so again.
Cardinals: Arizona pounded the St. Louis Rams last Sunday in Tempe, Ariz., 31-7, as QB Josh McCown threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores.
McCown was 22 for 34 for 287 yards and threw both TDs to WR Larry Fitzgerald. The Rams struggled with Chris Chandler as their starting quarterback, and had minus-20 yards of offense in the first quarter.
The last time
The Seahawks went down to the desert on Oct. 24 favored to win, as Arizona was 1-4 and the Seahawks had absorbed back-to-back losses. But the Cardinals came up with two big plays in the fourth quarter to stun Seattle 25-17.
The Seahawks lost their third straight at the time, as Hasselbeck had his worst game of the season going 14 for 41 for 187 yards with four interceptions.
Darrell Jackson had eight catches for 109 yards and a touchdown, and CB Ken Lucas returned an interception for a touchdown and a brief Seahawks lead, 17-16. Neil Rackers tied an NFL record with three 50-plus yard field goals in the game, two from 55 yards and one from 50.
What to expect
For the Seahawks, a win guarantees them a playoff spot as a wild-card team, and if accompanied with a St. Louis loss tomorrow, the NFC West title.
The Seahawks have the offense to score on the Cardinals, but Arizona’s defense has shown it can be stubborn. The Cardinals’ offense doesn’t figure to be a serious threat, but the Seahawks’ defense is downtrodden and missing key players, so look for the Cardinals to mix up run and pass and try to confuse the young Hawks.
It’s hard to imagine the Seahawks falling flat with so much at stake, and Arizona is one loss away from being eliminated from the playoff race. The Seahawks should come out with plenty of emotion and get the win.
Seattle: If the Seahawks win, coach Mike Holmgren will lead a team to the playoffs for the ninth time as a head coach. … Hasselbeck has joined Jim Zorn as the only Seahawks QBs with three 3,000-yard seasons of passing yardage in a row.
Arizona: Emmitt Smith needs 197 rushing yards for an NFL-record 12th straight 1,000-yard season. … LB James Darling, a Kettle Falls native, leads Arizona in tackles with 94.
Seattle: CB Bobby Taylor (knee) is doubtful. DT Marcus Tubbs (ankle), WR Jerheme Urban (foot), LB Tracy White (hamstring) and DE Grant Wistrom (knee) are out. DT Rocky Bernard (knee) and LB Chad Brown (foot) are questionable. QB Matt Hasselbeck (elbow) and WR Darrell Jackson (hamstring) are probable.
Arizona: CB Renaldo Hill (back) is out. QB John Navarre (finger) is questionable. OT Leonard Davis (knee), DT Darnell Dockett (groin), DT Russell Davis (hamstring), S Adrian Mayes (shoulder), WR Nate Poole (illness), RB Emmitt Smith (toe), LB Ray Thompson (shoulder) and S Michael Stone (foot) are probable.
José Miguel Romero
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